SpaceX loses a booster rocket
March 19, 2020
By Chris Forrester
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully placed another 60 of the company’s Starlink satellites into orbit on March 18th from the Kennedy Space Centre.
Originally scheduled for launch on March 15th the flight was aborted absolutely at the last second on its countdown because of a technical problem with one of the rocket’s engines.
While this flight was a complete success and was the fifth time that the booster rocket had flown (and thus a world record for re-use of a rocket) the mission was marred by the failure of the rocket to re-land after the deployment of the satellites.
Elon Musk said one of the rocket’s engines had shut down prematurely during the launch, and that a thorough investigation would be made into the incident.
The extra 60 satellites takes Elon Musk’s total now in orbit to 360 craft, and thus another record for Musk as owner of the world’s largest satellite fleet.
This mission was the sixth for SpaceX this year, and the fourth Starlink launch.